The food industry has crucial roles and responsibilities in achieving Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). Most of these goals are associated with the sector — including SDGs 2 (Zero Hunger), 3 (Good Health and Well-Being), and 12 (Sustainable Consumption And Production). At the firm level, global food companies can significantly contribute to achieving SDGs and reap competitive advantages by weaving sustainability into their foreign trade processes.

Help Strengthen The Pillars

According to the Handbook for SDG-Aligned Food Companies, international food traders can use the Four Pillars Framework to evaluate their alignment with the SDGs.

Pillar 1: Beneficial Products. International food traders must ensure that their products are healthy and sustainable, employ “responsible, equitable, and honest marketing and labeling practices,” and keep the products secure and safe until they reach end consumers.

Pillars 2 and 3: Sustainable Operations and Value Chain: International food traders must participate in minimizing greenhouse gas emissions, water footprint, and food waste. They should also help eliminate human and animal abuses, respect resource rights and ensure occupational health and safety.

Pillar 4: Good Corporate Citizenship. International food traders must “implement governance structures and management systems that center impacts of the company’s operations, products, and value chain on people and planet.” They must also observe responsible tax and litigation practices and support the government’s efforts to achieve the SDGs without influencing policymakers to advance the company’s interest.

To help “strengthen the pillars,” food companies must comply with relevant standards (such as USDA-mandated requirements) and implement sustainable practices when exporting or importing ingredients and food products.

Overcome Foreign Trade Challenges And Disruptions

The inherent complexity of the food sector’s value chain makes it difficult to achieve sustainable foreign trade management. Many internal and external players are involved in end-to-end food production and distribution. Ensuring sustainability can be daunting when visibility, transparency, and traceability are poor. Processing compliance papers alone can be complicated, particularly when the process is mainly manual and paper-based.

Aside from compliance processing challenges when importing or exporting food products, various supply chain events can be a problem. Supply chain disruptions (e.g., labor, transportation, and container shortages; inflation; and the pandemic) can have cascading effects such as longer shipping times that lead to food contamination, food waste, and other “non-sustainable” consequences.

How do you overcome these challenges?

Use The Right Global Trade Solutions

There is no single recipe for foreign trade problems and sustainable food product trading. However, implementing robust solutions that optimize visibility, transparency, and traceability, eliminate manual and paper-based processes, and increase regulatory confidence can all be a great help.

Ropaar helps food exporters and importers implement robust SAP foreign trade solutions. This enables them to be more sustainable in international trade management. Ropaar’s technical and industry expertise can help international food traders gain the following from SAP deployments:

Food companies can take advantage of our industry expertise in food production and processing. This includes compliance with USDA-mandated requirements for all major protein exporting companies, inventory-managed customs procedures, exception-based compliance processes with denied-party screening, and self-filing import/export documentation.


Food companies have a crucial role in achieving Sustainable Development Goals. And making their international trade management sustainable is one of the key ways they can participate in achieving sustainability.

Ropaar helps international food traders to integrate sustainability into their foreign trade processes. They also gain competitive advantages by using proven GTS services and solutions.

Let’s talk and see how our global trade experts can help your company achieve sustainable foreign trade processes. Contact us.